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Comic Strip / The Family Upstairs

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An early comic strip by George Herriman. The titular "family upstairs" is never seen; the audience only sees the (usually angry) reactions of the inhabitants of the apartment below them to the annoying noises, escaped pets, and so on. It is chiefly notable for a tiny companion strip that ran alongside it that featured a couple of characters that later became much more well-known.

  • Animal Jingoism: One series of strips, narrated by Ignatz, goes into the history of mouse/kat rivalry—it seems that the Golden Age of Mice came to an abrupt halt as soon as a kat arrived on shore and started eating all the citizens. Therefore, "Ignatz the Avenger", as he styles himself, holds that Krazy deserves every brick he gets.
  • Anthropomorphic Shift: As the Dingbat's rather ordinary-looking pet "kat" gradually evolved into Krazy, it began to walk on its hind legs.
  • Funny Background Event: Plenty—most famously, the one that became the entire premise of Krazy Kat.
  • Breakout Character: Two—Krazy and Ignatz.
  • The Ghost: The entire "family upstairs" is made up of these. Despite their lack of presence, they cause a lot of trouble.
  • The Voice: In at least one strip, we hear the Family Upstairs cheering uproariously because the Dingbats came home from their vacation.